New Snow Sticks Timberline
September 10, 2007
I took Thunderdraft this weekend and then hiked down Salamander to the Dolly Sods trailhead and noticed new snowsticks on Salamander and the Ceiling. Has this been anounced on the forum? I'm ashamed to say that I have not been following the forum very closely this summer.
Saw a bear at Beall Tract and Northern Harriers were migrating through the valley--very pretty.
PS I heard a rumor that bear broke into a house at Wintersett over the weekend? Is that true?
i know there have been nuisance bear alerts posted on some of the dolly sods info boards and one at the wildlife preserve info board at the top of cabin mnt on public road 80. (at the end of freeland rd)
too bad we didnt cross paths tho! I was biking up there this weekend and never knew there was that dsods trailhead at the end of sr80 and that its only a few hundred feet from salamander also. ive always gone down to lanesville rd to fs75 to get to the sods. its right at the border of the sods wilderness and sods north, so its a great way to access dsods for mountain biking since you can bike in the north area.
access trail from salamander:
I'm sorry I missed both of you this weekend. The sticks must be new. I don't remember any last year on sally. Makes sence to put them there since it takes a long time to make snow on that 2 miles of trail.
The bear issues are complicated. It was explained to me that bears which become a nuisance in N VA are relocated to the sods. When they become a problem there, they are taken elsewhere. The whole thing can be prevented if folks were careful with garbage and grills. We've had a problem with them at N-woods, especially when they get the smell of food from a grill. We have evidence of them climbing to the second story decks on G building just to trash a grill. I also think t-line adds to this problem with the restaurant's grease, etc... The problem is further complicated by many of the HOAs which do not have a depository for their trash/garbage and unfortunately renters leave the stuff on decks for rental companys to take away. Northface, Winterset, Yocum Run, as of last winter had no "depository" for their refuse. N-woods pays Mtn. Top so our owners can use their compactor which used to belong the NW HOA. We removed it due to the bear issues and the freeloaders from the other HOAs that used it.
I heard a similar story in another place I hiked- nuisance bears were removed to that area. This might be something of a "rural legend"- seems an awful long way to transport a bear. On the other hand, a young male will often roam up to 150 miles from his winter den to find food, so it would make sense that if you wanted to remove a nuisance bear you'd take them quite a ways away. I've also heard that the Great Smokies have given up removing nuisance bears because they usually find their way back to the foraging site. I think the Smokies might be taking a little more violent approach to dealing with those bears now.
I saw Richard V. but I did not see you. I basically bought a one-way ticket on Thunderdraft and did some hiking in North Dolly Sods North, and came back another way. I noticed new snow sticks on Sally and Ceiling but not on the Wilderness part of Sally. I wonder if the snow sticks continue once Sally emerges from the wilderness area. Anyone from Northface out there who has recently walked that part of Sally?
Crunchy, Sally is a great access to Dolly Sods North for Mountain bikers/hikers, and the Sods Wilderness for hikers only. I usually buy a one-way ticket on the lift to spare me 1,000 feet of vertical and allow me to spend more time in the Sods. Backpackers heavily laden with stuff always ask me where I coming from when I run into them near the end of Big Stonecoal or Breathed Mountain. They think I hiked in from Laneville and are wondering why I don't have more gear.
Regarding nuisance bears, I heard that they get a collar and if they get trapped three times near the lodge, they got shot. I think it is to the point where the HOAs need to tell the realtors to warn people not to leave garbage lying around.
We had a good number of bears last year throughout Olde Timberline. I have not heard much of bear activity this summer; however, my wife and I spotted a cub a couple times right on 32 near the new bridge into Davis. My wife asked a construction crew "working" on the new bridge about the cub - apparently mama bear had been hanging out too just over the rise up from the river. I did not see the cub the last two trips up this August.
I also read in the Olde Timberline Blog (amazing we have a blog), that Tucker County has the largest concentration of black bears in West Virginia. It is also a popular location for relocating nuisance bears from other parts of the state. Researching this topic further, I found this photographer's site dedicated to pictures he has taken of WVA Black Bears. Most of his pictures were taken on Cabin Mountain and Canaan Valley - check it out: West Virginia Black Bears
Great pics of bears and scenery.
i was thinking about taking the lift up but I kinda like the lung-busting cardio workout riding up
rode up freeland/sr80 but may try riding up sally next time. anyone wants to do that ride sometime soon, let me know!
re: black bears.. next time you riding out of davis, look up on the hill right after the bridge on the right. there is a small black bear that just hangs out near the top of the hill. ive seen it multiple times now, so im guessing he likes his spot overlooking the shop and save. just stay away from my roadside spring around the corner!
The HOA went to the compactor due to the bear issue. Prior to that time we had only dumpsters and the bears feasted every evening on the delecicies left by departing residents. It got to the point that some renters would take their garbage out and put it on top of the dumpsters, sit on their lawn chairs, children in tow, and wait for the mother and her cubs to come for dinner. To top that off, they were stupid enough to send their kids to stand by the dumpster fence where said bears were so they could take pictures. We were fortunate that there was never an incident involving the bears and stupid people.
Cool bear shots!
I think a one-way ride on the draft costs about $5.00 and some change. That's more than a beer at Timbers ($3.00 for import drafts). Kind of puts things in perspective: a ride on the draft vs. earning a draft by cycling 1,000 ft of vert.
What amazes me most is the number of shots he has of different bears across the last couple years. I've hiked a ton all over the the mountains in the mid-Atlantic and New England. With the exception of one close call (I heard the bear coming, but decided NOT to stick around for a Kodak moment), I've never run into a bear in the woods. I've seen 3 or 4 near the road over the years - most recently that cub outside Davis - but that's about it. That photographer really knows where where to find them (in their natural setting versus dumpster diving).
The trick to finding bears in the woods is to be quiet and use field skills. I never saw any bears (or much else in the way of wildlife) before I took up birding. Birding requires "field skills" such as being quiet, being aware of wind direction, tmperature, relative humidity, sun orientation, and how you look and smell. Avoid bathing or using deoderant before a hike because soap smells warn animals of your presence and also attract bugs. Also, its good to wear earth tone clothing or if you are really serious, cammo. Every time I have birded Shenandoah on a midweek flex day in the past two years, I have spotted bears. I see foxes all the time, and have seen some good snakes as well, including the very elusive Timber rattle snake. For seeing wildlife, dawn and dusk, but especially dawn is the best time. That's when everything is out, either hunting or being hunted. With wildlife, if you snooze you lose. Even in downtown DC, one can see some amazing wildlife if you know where to go and when. I saw about 22 species of birds today between 6:30 and 8:00 in Rock Creek Park, including 5 different warbler species, and a herd of seven deer. Many animals are also creatures of habit, once you know their habits, they can be reliably found again and again like the famous RT 32 bears, which I have seen. Last year, I could go to Haines Point any morning and find a Red Fox. It got to the point where he had no fear of me and just went about his business hunting ducks while I birded.
We will know who to blame for any future bear attacks now that John has instructed us on how to find bears
The trick to finding bears in the woods is to be quiet and use field skills.
Good tips John. I always figured we were pretty noisy hikers, but I also never tried to run into a bear in the woods.